So just last week, after I finished up my last midterm of the week, I installed Mepis 7.0 on an extra partition I had on my hard drive. Previously, I've been running Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon. One of the first things I did after installing Gutsy was to install Enlightenment 17, which I feel is possibly the best windows manager around. The only quibble I had with E (as Enlightenment is so often called) is that it is still alpha and bugs are therefore quite common. Eventually, I forced myself to switch over to using Gnome, which is the default windows manager for Ubuntu. I was annoyed by the fact that Gnome sucked tons of memory (especially when compared to E) and didn't look nearly nearly as good. Because I have a relatively old ATI graphics card, I had to install fglrx and xgl in order to get Compiz Fusion working. Xgl had a memory leak that would become extremely prominent after a few days. At first startup, Xgl would use around 20MBs of RAM, but after a few days it was up to 90, and by the end of the week it was using about 150. The end result was that I had to restart X ever day, which was a bit of a minor annoyance. I did try running Gnome without Compiz Fusion but the shiny 3D effects were just too cool to pass up.
I used to really like Gnome and its simplicity but after using E I've started to notice that Gnome tends to be very simple and nowhere near as powerful as E. Even Linus Torvalds (my hero) bashes Gnome for its over simplicity, as you can see here.
So now I was fed up with Gnome and afraid to try E until it got more stable, so I decided to try out KDE. Obviously, I could just install KDE on my current Ubuntu partition, but I decided it was time to try out another distro. Ubuntu is a lovely user friendly distro but it tends to be quite bloatly. I eventually decided to try out Mepis 7.0.
Mepis is based on Debian, which is great since I love Debian's package management, and it uses KDE as its default windows manager. The installation went smoothly and all of my hardware was detected properly. All the proprietary codecs that you normally have to install manually under Ubuntu (flash, mp3, wma, divx, etc.) worked right out of the box in Mepis. Mepis seems like a really nice distro, but I'm going to play around with it a little bit more before I post my final decision and review of it. And although I'm getting used to KDE I still think E is the superior desktop manager.